A PARISH council arranged a surprise presentation as one of its members clocked up a quarter of a century.
Cllr Peter Blanksby has been on Wales Parish Council since 1996 and has seen many changes in the post-mining era of the village.
Peter, of Kiveton Park, began his involvement through the White City Action Group, helping to progress the new estate.
“I used to take everything from there to the parish council.
“From that, I took training at college and then ended up on the parish council.
“Around that time, everything was still all about mining. It has changed so much in the time I’ve been a parish councillor.”
Peter has represented the village on the Chesterfield Canal Partnership and various other committees, and helped to set up the Kiveton Park and Wales Community Development Trust.
As part of work with the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, he travelled to Hungary to see how their post-pit efforts were working.
Peter also clocked up 15 years as a governor at Wales Primary School. He thanked Northern College in Barnsley for its support and training.
Parish council chairman Cllr Gill Shaw said: “Peter has served a full 25 years and we wanted to recognise that.
“There was Alice Booth before him, but I think Peter is the first to reach this milestone in 21 years.
“He’s quite an unassuming person but he’s done so much in this community, so this is well-deserved.”
Parish council colleagues attended as Peter was presented with a watch and a wallet last Thursday.
“He was gob-smacked,” said Cllr Shaw.
“Earlier in the year, all we could do was send him a bouquet of flowers because of the lockdown, so I think he thought that was all he was getting!”
Peter said: “It was a bit of a surprise, I was just expecting an ordinary meeting.”
Wife Fran said: “Peter is someone who likes to see progress.
“He likes going to meetings that are meaningful and can bring changes. Peter’s certainly not a time-waster.
“He likes to get stuck in and get things done.”